Oct 1, 2020 | Atlanta, GA
October 1 marks Steven W. McLaughlin’s first day as Georgia Tech’s new provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. In his initial days and weeks in this new role, McLaughlin will spend time with students, faculty, and staff across campus in listening sessions, small group meetings, and one-on-one consultations.
“It’s a dream come true to step into this role at a place I truly love. I have had the great pleasure of serving as a member of the faculty and as an administrator in a number of roles, and all of them have given me a chance to learn a different side of Tech,” said McLaughlin. “I look forward to hearing from my colleagues as we start the next chapter together.”
McLaughlin has served Tech for 25 years, most recently as the dean and Southern Company Chair in the College of Engineering. Prior roles include the Steve Chaddick School Chair in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (2012-17), and the vice provost for International Initiatives and Steven A. Denning Chair in Global Engagement (2007-12).
McLaughlin’s service to Tech has included advocacy and leadership around issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion; student health and well-being; global engagement; and student entrepreneurship. Those passions were a natural fit as McLaughlin committed in early 2020 to serve as co-chair of the steering committee for the Institute’s forthcoming strategic plan, together with Dean Maryam Alavi of the Scheller College of Business.
He emphasizes that the Institute’s top priority is to deliver to students the highest quality educational and research experiences and that attracting, retaining, and supporting the very best and most diverse faculty and staff is essential to meeting that commitment to students. But McLaughlin recognizes that Georgia Tech is facing one of the most challenging periods in the university’s history.
“We must continue to lead, serve, and produce what our city, state, nation, and world need. With our forthcoming strategic plan, I believe no university is better positioned to face the challenges posed by the rapidly and ever-changing world around us,” said McLaughlin. “We must answer those challenges in a way that reflects our commitment not only to improve the human condition, but to address systemic and cultural changes in our Georgia Tech community.”
McLaughlin assumes the role following Rafael L. Bras, who stepped down after serving as provost for 10 years.
“I am grateful for Dr. Bras’ guidance over the years, and I intend to build on his work to develop creative and compassionate leaders and solution seekers,” said McLaughlin. “My focus is, and will continue to be, on people and an equitable and inclusive environment that supports academic success and is a place where every student, faculty, and staff member can thrive,” said McLaughlin.
McLaughlin was named to the position after an extensive national search launched by Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera in early 2020 and co-chaired by Charles Isbell, dean and John P. Imlay Jr. Chair in the College of Computing, and Susan Lozier, dean and Betsy Middleton and John Clark Sutherland Chair in the College of Sciences.
“I very much look forward to working with Steve to build on a solid foundation as we find new ways to deliver on our mission of Progress and Service,” said Cabrera. “I thank the members of the search committee led by Deans Lozier and Isbell for bringing us an outstanding and diverse pool of candidates. Steve’s deep appreciation for Georgia Tech and his passion for innovation, inclusion, and excellence make him just the right person to lead us into the next decade.”